Immediately upon my arrival at The Next Level Event, I was greeted at the door by some charming ladies from One Step Retail. Instantly being ushered to the registration tables, I was helped out and given a swag bag within minutes. Never having been to this event, I did not know exactly what to expect; advertised as a free event for specialty retailers, I thought I would check it out. I was pleasantly surprised by the venue, the vendors, and most importantly the caliber of speakers present at the event.
Walking in I was quickly entrenched in a sea of vendors, ranging from Brother to NCR, I was able to walk around the tables of vendors and get a feeling for what these big names could offer my business. Given the space and the enthusiastic nature of many of the vendors I quickly became enthralled in conversations with many companies like flexReceipts and Yelp. The CEO of flexReceipts, Tomas, was both friendly and knowledgeable, shedding light on the benefits digital receipts could play in the future of my retail store.
Being a retailer that did not already have a system in place, I had the freedom and opportunity to attend multiple presentations of different POS systems to see what would work best with my business. Sitting in on presentations from Retail Pro, Springboard Retail, Teamwork Retail, and NCR Counterpoint I was able to get a very encompassing feel for how these systems worked. Most of the presentations allowed time for dialogue and encouraged attendees to ask questions about problems they face with their systems, the presenters would then provide excellent feedback and even solve some issues on the spot. Throughout the day the presentations provided an educational space where a sense a community was created amongst the audience and the speaker. In my previous experience from attending larger conferences, this isn’t always the environment that is created.
Ending the day with a Networking Happy Hour was a brilliant idea on One Step’s part, because it allowed for a casual atmosphere on the beautiful terrace of the Old Ranch Country Club to meet and greet with other specialty retailers like myself. Not only did it allow me to further understand how these systems have worked within their store’s needs, I was also able to create some friendships with other professionals and retailers. For my first experience with The Next Level Event, I was impressed by how organized it was and thankful for the educational and networking opportunities they provided me throughout the day. I definitely cannot wait until next year to see what this event has to offer.
Retailer Event Attendee